Causes of poor handwriting

Identifying the root cause early will help to better equip parents on how to nip it in its bud and correct the handwriting issues.

Handwriting is a deceptively simple skill relying on several sub skills, involving cognitive and visual performance, and unlike what many may assume, is not just about fine motor abilities. Of course, fine motor skills play a big part and a weakness in this area is one of the most common causes of difficulties. However, as you will observe later, there are also other areas we should be paying attention to. Typically, when children struggle with certain motor difficulties, the result can be writing which is illegible or difficult to decipher.

Such difficulties are not limited to being unable to form neat letters on paper - it also includes being visually able to make all the letters the right size, adding appropriate spacing between words, and applying not too much or too little pressure with the writing tool. Additionally, it also involves holding the paper down with the non-dominant hand and having the correct arm position and posture for writing (for more information on common handwriting problems, refer to our article on ASD and common handwriting problems).